Poe was carrying a rations crate to the base from a ship. He thought of the argument he had with Leia. She had set limits for him......limits he didn’t like but she was the general after all. He sighed as he put the crate down in the base and sat besides it running a hand though his hair.
General Leia Organa was looking at a holo map plotting locations where they could strike the first order. She knew that her son could never be saved.......that hurt the old woman as she remembered having him after the empire fell.......
Genesis was in his tie fighter in attempt to find a holocron. He knew that there were force sensitive children out there and intended to hunt them down. The only thing he could feel was hatred. He landed his fighter on the planet of Naboo and started getting out to look for a holocron. He remembered this place alright.......god dammit he hated that Amidala person because she wanted peace. Genesis began to shoot the locals with his blaster out of anger.
Kittani was on Naboo, trying to teach the children and gather them up onto her ship to take them to safety. She turned and looked over her shoulder when a ship landed, and her eyes widened in horror at the thing that stepped off of it from a distance. “Run, hide!” She whispered, and the kids all went scampering off. Getting her lightstaber, Kittani stood up and began to sneak along through the houses to get a better angle at Genesis.
The air was dry and hot, Ryloth's desolate landscape was was captivating during the sun set. The mixed vibrant colors of orange, red, and yellow painted the atmosphere, while the dirt and sand valleys were warm with browns, and tans. Dex looked over the low laying valleys full of Twi'lek scavengers and thugs, with his helmet rested between his left arm and waist. A slight sigh is all he let out, it was rare to enjoy such a sight. Dex pulled out a small bounty token with his right hand from a satchel attached to his belt. With a slight click of a button the token illuminated with a faint hologram of what appeared to be an elderly Twi'Lek. The name displayed read "Boxarr Finn", and with further examination of the physical description Dex noticed scarring on the right side of the figure's face. "He's got a blind eye" he said quietly to himself with a chuckle. Dex deactivated the token and returned it to his satchel. After waiting for a half an hour the Twi'Lek campfires started to glow brighter and brighter as the sky grew dark, and the five moons ascended. The temperature slowly transformed into a cold bitterness, and the sandstone and dirt reflected a mellow blue from the moons above.
It was time, Dex fitted his helmet back overtop his head, with a twist and a click the helmet sealed back into place. A high pitched ringing sounded for a few seconds until the visor displayed a night vision of the landscape. He then walked over to his speeder bike, which was hovering behind him, and mounted. Dex then pulled out a miniature beacon tracker, pinging a location down in the valley. He pulled his speeder bike up to the edge of the cliff face, "Kaboom" he said silently to himself as he pulled out a small clicker and pressed the button. Instantaneously, speeder bikes lined up by the scavenger camp exploded one by one. The plumes of fire engulfed the speeder bikes and everything in its vicinity. Yelling and screaming by the scavengers could be heard in the distance. Dex decided to enhance his sight on the camp, zooming in to see the Twi'Lek rushing in panic to their decimated vehicles.
Quickly, Dex whipped his speeder around and sped down to the valley. A few moments later, with the Twi'Lek still in panic surrounding their burning transportation, Dex parked his speeder on the other end of the camp. Sneaking through the intricate chaos of random tents, Dex recognized the Twi'Lek political leader Boxarr Finn. Quietly and swiftly Dex snuck behind Boxarr and swung his arm around his neck, choking him. With his other hand free, Dex pulled out his small SC X-30 pistol and pushed against Boxarr's back. Boxarr made little effort to struggle as he knew he was in a helpless state, therefore throwing his hands up. Abruptly, Dex fired his pistol through the middle of Boxarr's chest, killing him instantly. Dex then dragged the body back to his speeder and made his way out of the camp, unnoticed.
After an hour of riding on his speeder, Dex stopped right outside Lessu, the capital city of Ryloth. Waiting for him was a small First Order Command Shuttle, with two officials and a squadron of stormtroopers in formation. Dex dismounted and pulled the body off the top of his speeder. "Have you done what we asked?" one of the officials inquired. "Yes, he's dead, just as you ordered." Dex replied. The two officials walked up to the body and examined it. Boxarr's physical features made him distinct, the two officials looked at one another and nodded. "So be it then, we will take the body now and make an example of it to the people. Here are your 5000 credits as promised." the official extended his hand showing a small crate carried by two stormtroopers. "You have done the First Order a great pleasure in assassinating this political filth. The Twi'Lek have always been under galactic territorial rule, from the Republic to being protectorates of the Empire. Boxarr's rebellion and outspoken alliance with Organa's resistance was simply unacceptable. With the death of their leader it will only be a matter of time before Ryloth returns to its proper place under the First Order." the official said with a large grin. Dex received the crate from the two stormtroopers and loaded it onto his speeder. The stormtroopers then grabbed the body and took it back to the Command Shuttle. Dex didn't care if he had caused chaos or not, 5000 credits spoke for itself.
Dex then mounted back on top of his speeder. Before he started to drive away one of the First Order officials turned around. "We have another bounty for you if you'd like it. However, I must warn you it is much harder than you think." the Official proclaimed with intrigue. "Im listening." Dex responded with his head slightly tilted down towards the official. "The First Order has started an invasion of Naboo, in search for a Jedi Master and a small group of force sensitive younglings." the official said with a very serious tone. "So, what do you need me for?" Dex said with curiosity. "We fear that this Jedi Master and her younglings may escape, and if they do we might not be able to track them down again. You are one of the most notorious Bounty Hunters in the outer rim region, this small political assassination was simply a test of your loyalty. We need your expertise." the official tried masking the desperation in his words, but Dex could tell the severity of the issue.
"First of all, I am loyal to no one, wherever the money is count me there. Second, you expect me to kill a Jedi and children?" Dex was somewhat irritated by the remark the official made of his loyalty. Dex's reputation and personal pride would be tainted if he was seen as a puppet of the First Order. "That is exactly what we expect you to do, and if not, at the very least hunt her down and let us do the rest. I must say that if you just track them down you will receive only a quarter of the pay." the official responded snobbishly. Dex adhered to only tracking the Jedi and her younglings down instead of killing them. This was not only because of the difficulty of doing such, but also because of how demoralizing it would truly be to kill them. Dex, as cold hearted as he was, was no man for immoral and un-honorable game, something he very well admired about Boba Fett and his training. "For how much?" Dex asked.
"150,000 credits, and that's just if you track them down!" the official said with a smirk. Dex sat on his speeder, silent in disbelief. He had never heard of any bounty so handsome in payout. "150,000? Just for locating them?" Dex said, expressing that he was practically already sold on the offer. "Yes sir, and if you kill her and those little rodents consider that quadrupled. We will provide you the transport and further debriefing if you accept." the official pridefully offered. There was a moment of silence, a staring contest between the two men. Dex knew what the mission meant, the notoriety by traveling to the mid rim and closer was something he feared. He thought to himself, "Just another journey, just another bounty." Dex then dismounted from his speeder, "I accept, but in no way do I want to receive publicity or celebrity status all because "I did some great deed for the First Order"." Dex began to walk with the officials and stormtroopers on to the command shuttle. "That's what you're worried about? Nonsense. We will make sure this is a top secret operation. Besides, you talk as if you've already found them and the reward is yours!" the official said almost uncontrollably with laughter.
Dex said nothing in return, instead he couldn't help but grin underneath his helmet. He knew that the reward was already his, and that the Jedi Master and her younglings were as good as found if they escaped Naboo.
Kittani was stunned when she saw Poe helping the young ones. Her heart soared, and she began to help the children back to safety, using her saber to fend off any offensive blows and fire from the stormtroopers and droids as best she could. But she was alone. “Poe! How long of a wait on those transports!?” She screamed hoarsely, the Togruta starting to sweat from fear and nervousness.
She couldn’t let these little ones die. She couldn’t. They were the future. She painted heavily and kept trying to fend them off as best she could, sending troopers flying left and right into the sand and into buildings.
Dex firmly held onto the support handles that were fastened to the ceiling of the inner hull of the command shuttle, as did all the stormtroopers. The officials sat presumably in the extra space in the cockpit of the shuttle. Dex still felt like it was all quite unreal, that everything happened so fast. He took a moment and looked around at the stormtroopers. He felt unease and sorrow, like the troopers were enslaved to follow orders because of their allegiance to a power trying to impose its beliefs on the galaxy. Thinking that he could be working for the wrong side never once crossed his mind however, as he felt the same way about the Resistance. Even with such an unfortunate childhood, Dex couldn't help but feel lucky and blessed in his current circumstance, that he was truly self-employed and independent. There was no political bias for him, and he convinced himself he would never be pushed around and forced to do one's bidding.
However, for a brief moment, he felt no different than the stormtroopers neighboring him in the cramped hull of the command shuttle. He felt like a pawn, a tool in war. For once he felt powerless, like he had sold his soul because of the temporary blindness of greed. The hull door slowly lifted to close, as red lights flickered in the dimmed space. Dex stared at the door, knowing that once it closed completely, his fate was sealed. He knew there would be no backing out. With a loud hissing and spitting of steam, a deep roaring thud and click confirmed that the door was closed entirely. The red lights ceased. As the shuttle rattled violently for take off, the hull became pitch black. The sudden light headed feeling Dex experienced was the command shuttle lifting off and heading towards Ryloth's higher atmosphere.
Once the rattling stopped, bright lights resumed. The stormtroopers were unfazed, as this is something they had probably undergone dozens of times. Dex on the other hand pulled all his weight onto the support handle, he was slightly nervous, but more than that he was sick. It wasn't often that he flew on smaller vessels, most of his traveling would be done from sneaking on to large shipping frigates. A few deep breaths later and Dex stood fully upright again, clearing his mind. He couldn't see outside, but when the flight smoothed out he could sense that they were in space. "Just a quick hyperspace jump and we will be back with the fleet." the comms from the pilot statically murmured over the poor speakers in the hull. A strong pull and a loud straining of high frequencies filled the quiet small room as the command shuttle entered hyper space. Dex took another deep breath, keeping his mind clear. The strong pulling stopped and the high frequency transformed into a low peaceful humming, indicating that the command shuttle was successfully in hyperspace. "We will be back with the fleet within 10 minutes." the pilot once more announced over the comms.
Kittani ran into the ship and hugged the children when they were all safe and sound, and she knew that Leia would be pissed at her and Poe both.
Poe maybe a little bit more. She walked to the pilot and gave him a small smile and a light pat on the back. “You did amazing out there. Thank you, you saved our lives today.” She stroked his ego, but also being truly honest.
Every time they chose to do missions like this, the chances of them surviving and making it back became less and less.
Kittani finally realized this when she felt sudden agony in her thigh. She hissed in pain and looked down, realizing that a blaster shot had grazed her leg. “Kriffing-!”
As time passed Dex escaped the maze of his mind and returned to reality. The command shuttle had already exited hyper space, and approached one of the First Order Star Destroyers that was in the fleet. The rattling returned for a few moments until abruptly coming to a halt with a loud thud, the command shuttle had landed in the bay. The command shuttle's hull door slowly dropped showing the view of the Star Destroyer's hangar opening. Outside the opening was nothing but the void of space, littered with stars and dozens of other First Order Star Destroyers. The two officials stepped outside the command shuttle, soon followed by the stormtroopers, which all marched in unison. The stormtrooper squadron departed, joining multiple other units that were loading up into invasion drop ships. Dex tagged behind the two officials, through corridors and elevators until eventually reaching the command bridge. The view from the command bridge left Dex in awe, the planet Naboo, once beautiful and peaceful was painted in splashes of black and red from fire and swaths of smoke.
Dex looked at the sight of hundreds of drop ships, descending in to Naboo's atmosphere, becoming so tiny until disappearing in the thick smog. Other First Order Star Destroyers deployed drop ships of their own, and surrounded the planet from all angles. "You think they escaped this?" Dex asked with certainty that it would be near impossible for any ship to flee unnoticed. "They already did, most of our fleet just arrived, and are here to finish any remaining Resistance forces on the surface." the official told Dex as he turned to address him. "Already did? You're telling me their fleet was here, and you let them slip away?" Dex said with a slight irritation, considering that the First Order presence around Naboo now felt like overkill. "Yes, the Resistance command ships are extremely fast, and can slip into hyperspace very quickly. We are working on a technology to track them through hyper space, however that is far from complete." the official said with a state of helplessness taking into account the result of the unfortunate escape.
"There are only so many grand sectors the Resistance fleet can flee to without being reported." Dex said while in mid thought. "Well, there are still a few thousand Resistance soldiers that were not able to escape, stuck in the city below. The current plan is to slaughter them all, send a message that the New Republic will simply not survive against our rule." the official said as he turned to the command bridge viewing deck, looking out over Naboo. "Don't kill them all, try to find some higher ranking soldiers and take them prisoner for interrogating. In the mean time I need to go down to the surface, there may be some clues left behind that will aid in the hunt." Dex said in response, the official nodded and departed to talk to the Star Destroyer's commander. Dex walked out of the bridge and made his way to the hangar. No stormtroopers asked questions, it was an unsaid but understood reason as to why Dex was there. He then accompanied a squadron of stormtroopers as they made their way on to a drop ship, preparing to invade the surface of Naboo.
The Alliance scout Coorayne sniffed the air of the jungle around him. It was not lack of impressions but an overuse of his sense of smell that greeted the wolf man - wet tree barks, lush flower blossoms, exotic fruit, the musky smell of the soil, and the fur of monkey-like climbing creatures and feathers of birds. Also the sounds were almost too much for his sensitive hearing, as the monkey creatures and birds tried to surpass each other in screaming. Growling slightly, he set to continue on finding a path through this untouched forest with undergrowth reaching almost to his chest.
General Leia had given him the mission to check out safe worlds and potential future hiding places for the alliance or people they wanted to protect. This had ended him on a small and rarely visited jungle moon close to Naboo's system, but rather untouched and rarely explored due to its intensely dangerous flora and fauna - rumoured to be poisonous to the touch even. The past two weeks had taught him that such rumors were exaggerated - the monkey creatures bites were highly infectious, so were many bird's beaks and talons. The fruits and mushrooms growing however already smelled poisonous to him and he kept from giving it a try. A Shistavanen preferred meat anyways and even that had to be roasted for quite a while above the camp fire to become edible for someone like him. There was a reason why First Order and Alliance had avoided this place for so long, but did this not make it a perfect hideout?
His ears pricked, as he heard rustling in the undergrowth. This sounded like a larger creature than just monkeys. Carefully, he held his blaster ready and focussed more intently on sensing his surroundings. A crack and out of instinct, he dodged quickly under the razor sharp claws of the predator which had jumped at him. Whirling around, the wolfman fired a well-placed shot at the beast which shrieked in pain and annoyance. His hopes to scare it away without killing it were squashed as it turned around and dodged for another pounce.
As if his day was not perfect enough already the Alliance chose this moment to contact him, making his communicator beep loudly, making Coorayne curse snarling through his teeth. What his shot had not managed, the sound however did. Startled, the predator stopped its attack and stared wide-eyed. This was his chance - the Shistavanen scout locked his eyes with the creature and very intently tried to suggest flight as the best option. After baring its teeth for one last time, the predator took off into the jungle and the rustling of leaves told Coorayne about his leave. Growling: "Yes!", into the comm, he was not even greeted from his caller. "Have you found a hide out for a group of people, Coorayne?", came the question.
The Shistavanen hesitated, he had camped in a cave yesterday which could work as an hideout and knew the area by now. From what he could make out, this was urgent, an emergency even. "I have a place for a group to stay. However, I would not recommend settling down here ... and they will need some external supplies", he tried to caution. "Give us the coordinates!", the caller asked almost desperately. This day truly had the potential of turning into one of his worst of the past years. Rolling his eyes the scout growled the answer into the comm before turning to make his way towards the cave to prepare some commodities like soft leaves on the ground and wood for a camp fire for the arrival of his Alliance friends.
“Thanks,” Poe gave her a smirk, “hey are you alight?” Rebel troopers on the transport were bringing the kids to get checked by the medics. One of the nurses noticed Kittani’s leg being grazzed.
“Oh no sweetie let me have a look at that,” the nurse said with concern as she walked over to Kittani and got a closer look at her leg. She then looked at her, “would you let me clean your wound honey?”
Leia nodded as she heard from a rebel commander about Coorayne. She was pissed at Poe and Kittani, mostly Poe though. Hundreds of her troops were stuck on Naboo and being killed by storm troopers. Once the transport landed she walked out to them greeting the rebels and Poe and her.
“Dameron, in my office,” Leia said looking at him.
Poe groaned and got up turning to Kitanni, “see you around Kit.......”
Leia turned to Kit smiling, “perhaps you would want to seek out my brother Luke.......”
Kittani nodded down at the nurse, who was already rolling up Kittani’s pant leg and looking over the damage that had been done. She began to clean the wound and dress it before it could get infected and enflamed. She looked over at Poe and gave him a weak, sad smile, knowing he was in for it.
Then, she felt her heart warm when Leia addressed her.
“Luke? Master Luke? I…”
She didn’t feel worthy. He was the best of the best.. and who was she? “It’s been years since he trained me.. I was a child.”
Coorayne used his hatchet for splitting a log which could be helpful for keeping up a camp fire in the hide out, once the fugitives arrived. The ear splitting screeching of the birds and monkey beasts was quite unnerving, luckily there were not so many close to the cave and they were mainly active during the day, otherwise nobody would be able to find sleep there. With less sensitive hearing he might have missed the comparatively low beeping of the comm link. "What can I do for you?", the Shistavanen scout snarled into the micro sounding much more unfriendly than he had intended. "Is this a way to address your general?" At the sound of her voice, he almost dropped the comm link. His ears felt hot from embarrassment at just having insulted General Leia Organa.
"Sorry!, was all he could croak out, before being interrupted by the general who sounded more amused than actually upset. "Do you have a good place to hide for a group of children and their teacher?", she asked seriously. Children? Nobody had told him that they wanted to bring pups to this poisonous hell hole. "General, this is a place swarming with poisonous flora and fauna. I do not think this will be a good place to hide pups ... I mean children ... from the First Order or what ever worse is behind them." The general hesitated: "Does this mean, nobody would ever assume that they would be hiding there?" Coorayne caught up with her line of thought. "No one in their right mind would be hiding here. This is the place to go, if you REALLY do not wish to be found." "Excellent", came the curt answer. "Coorayne, prepare everything for the arrival. It should not take longer than a few days, until they will reach you there." "Understood, general. Coorayne out", he answered and turned off the comm link, lest they be traced by the First Order.
Sighing the spy returned to his tedious work of preparing the hide out. Why did they have to bring pups here? It would make his job of taking care of the fugitives until the outpost was properly established for living so much much more difficult.
Luke Skywalker pulled his hood down as he walked searching for Kitanni his former student, Kylo killed of his students except her. Luke was aware that Kylo was after him and probably Kittani......he walked through the jungle looking for any signs of a female Jedi, Maybe she left behind a trail? The old man could sense a presence of a spy nearby.........he crept closer to Coorayne as he didn’t ignite his lightsaber to show him he didn’t mean harm. This man was strange.......Luke could feel the force in him.......it was like he was force sensitive..........
The rebel nurse smiled at her, “feel better sweetie?”
Kylo Ren had been tracking Luke nonstop and he wanted the Jedi master dead. Kylo slammed his helmet into a computer smashing it and looked at the wreckage. He yelled at his generals to find Skywalker.
Kittani nodded weakly and smiled. “A bit, yes. Thank you.” She smiled as Leia came walking out, and she relayed the information to her about going to the jungle planet to hide out and lay low for a while. Kittani frowned, “That planet is filled to the brim with toxic plants. These are children we are talk8ng about, they’re going to get killed General.”
The Shistavanen had just unloaded his second load of fire wood and stepped into the forest again to go hunting for his dinner, when he sensed something 'off'. He could not quite place the feeling - there was no immediate danger which was what he could typically sense, but something else. The hair on the back of his neck was starting to stand on end, as he realised that the wind was in his side giving his scent away but making it impossible for him to trace by his scent of smell, if something dangerous was in front of or behind him.
A rustle in the bushes behind him made the scout whirl around, his blaster drawn and aimed instinctively. Only in the very last moment before firing did he recognise not just a bearded human in front of him, but WHO this was. After insulting General Leia Organa almost shooting at Luke Skywalker was truly the all time low of his luck. Hopefully, this would not make it to the Alliance head quarters or folks would never let him hear the end of it. For a moment he just stared at the Jedi dumb struck, before regaining his wits and willingly changing his expression into a questioning one. "What are you doing here?", was probably neither the most intelligent or eloquent question, but the best he could come up with.
“Looking for a female Jedi named Kitanni,” Luke spoke calmly, “have you seen her?” Luke then nodded to him, “I can sense the force in you.........it is rather hidden since you haven’t found it for a while. Will you let me teach you the ways of the Jedi?” Luke looked at him seriously and gave a warm smile, “I see my sister hasn’t trained you yet.”
Leia understood her concerns, “my son won’t look there Kit. He won’t stop until you and my brother are dead.......I understand your worries but it’s the only way to keep you safe.......my spy has setup a hiding spot for them.”
Kittani frowned and watched Leia, pretty upset about the situation. She then looked over at Poe, who had just exited the office. “Spy? Does that mean that Luke is there as well?” The beautiful Togruta asked.
“Looking for a female Jedi named Kitanni”, the Jedi responded and made the wolfman prick is ears in curiosity. Now, things started to make sense after all. He almost could not believe that the reasonable and always responsible General Leia Organa would risk children's lives out here, unless these children were really important and must not be found under any circumstances. His reasoning had almost made him miss the comment that followed and sent the scout's mind completely off trail. General Leia should train him? Why would she do that? What was that comment about the Force and Jedi? Compared to how dumbfounded he looked now, he must have appeared completely reasonable and lucid before. At least he did not make a fool of himself again by stammering nonsense, he was just too speechless to do this now.
The Jedi Master must have sensed his internal struggle, as he waited patiently, until the Shistavanen scout was able to think and act coherently again. Once his first wave of shock had worn off, Reynar turned towards thinking rationally again. "I do not know anything about a Jedi here, but I talked with your sister on the comm earlier and she mentioned a group a children and their teacher. They should arrive in a day or two. Are these your Jedi?" Holy Sith! How had he ended up on a hell hole of a poisonous jungle planet with every kriffing Jedi in the universe?
Speaking of Jedi, the wolf man yelped as an afterthought: "And what is this Force talk and Jedi training about? I have never heard anything about me doing Force ... things" - he struggled more and more with words, as anxiety took over - "in all my life." Confused amber eyes focused on the Jedi Master waiting for his response.
“Calm,” Luke spoke to try and clear his mind, “you had been born with a connection to the force........the force is in you, here watch.”
Luke lifted a rock holding his hand out. The rock was medium size and he put it on the ground and put another rock on it. Luke then looked at him, “hold your hand out and move those rocks........trust me I’m not trying to make a fool out of you.”
Poe looked at her and watched them talk. He sat down.
Leia nodded, “my brother is searching for you. I can feel it......he wants to warn you about Ben.........the person who killed all of his students except you........you must find him......”